Maverick British publisher Felix Dennis, who recently confessed to killing a man - only to later take it back - has been invited to be the latest speaker in the Delacorte Lecture Series at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The event, next Thursday, will be moderated by the former editorial director of The Nation, Victor Navasky.
Dennis is the man behind the beer-and-babes empire that spawned Maxim, Stuff, which has since folded, and the music magazine Blender.
Maxim and Blender were sold last year to Kent Brownridge and Alpha Media, which is backed by Quadrangle, for around $225 million.
In the US, Dennis' sole remaining title is The Week, a small but fast-growing magazine that serves as a digest of news stories published around the globe.
Next Thursday, Dennis will ostensibly speak about the success of The Week, and then field questions.
His remarks about having killed a man were made in an interview published by the Times of London. He claimed that the man, who was never named, was abusive to his wife and kids, and after Dennis re peatedly warned him to stop, Dennis said he pushed the man over a cliff to his death.
He is quoted as saying in the interview, "It wasn't hard."
Dennis later retracted his story, saying that he had consumed a copious amount of wine during the course of the interview with the Times, and also had been on medication.
Drew Kerr, a spokesman for Dennis in the US, said, "Felix has killed many people with his jokes and he has certainly killed a few magazines along the way - his own and others - but as for human beings, that's ridiculous."